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Höllenrose: Kriminalroman (Konrad…
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Höllenrose: Kriminalroman (Konrad Sejer, Band 12) (original 2014; edition 2017)

by Karin Fossum (Author), Gabriele Haefs (Übersetzer)

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1605132,706 (3.6)12
"A gruesome tableau awaits Inspector Konrad Sejer in the oppressive summer heat: a woman and a young boy lay dead in a pool of blood near a dank camper. The details of the deaths of Bonnie Hayden and her five-year-old son Simon are mysterious. There is no sign of robbery or assault. Who would brutally stab a defenseless woman and her child? Sejer and his fellow investigator Jakob Skarre begin a hunt for the killer that will eventually lead them to a heartbreaking conclusion. In a parallel storyline, masterfully fused, Fossum tells the story of Mass Malthe and her troubled son Eddie as they navigate a relationship that some would call too close. Eddie constantly thinks about his unknown father -- someone his mother would rather forget. When long-held secrets are revealed, it turns out that Mass and Bonnie share more in common than Eddie could have ever guessed"--… (more)
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Title:Höllenrose: Kriminalroman (Konrad Sejer, Band 12)
Authors:Karin Fossum (Author)
Other authors:Gabriele Haefs (Übersetzer)
Info:Piper Taschenbuch (2017), 304 pages
Collections:Your library
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Hell Fire by Karin Fossum (2014)

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» See also 12 mentions

English (4)  Dutch (1)  All languages (5)
Showing 4 of 4
This book was very disappointing. The cover blurb promised two parallel stories which "intertwine in a heartbreaking conclusion." Well yeah, it would have been heartbreaking if it wasn't so freakin' obvious from page 1. If you want to know more, read on: First story: a mother and her young child are murdered. Second (parallel) story: a mother living with her adult child, who has serious behavioral issues. Oh gee, let me guess whodunnit. After about 100 pages it definitely seemed like it was heading that way, as the adult child continued to behave more and more erratically. So I did something I never do, and flipped to the second to last page. Sure enough, there he was, admitting to the murder.

I'm so annoyed, especially because something similar happened in the previous book. In that one, Fossum was very clear about the murderer's identity, and the reader just had to watch Sejer figure it out. That was kind of dissatisfying, but this book was far worse. There's one more book in the series but I think I can stifle my completist tendencies and put this series behind me.
  lauralkeet | Jul 18, 2019 |
I'd almost forgotten how very readable this series is.

We see the action of the novel from three points of view: Bonnie works as a home help. She has a small son Simon and is a single mother. Christmas is approaching. Bonnie visits ten homes a week, and there are little vignettes from each of her visits. In the same time frame we meet Mass and her 21 year old son Eddie. Eddie appears to have something similar to Asbergers and is unable to work. He is very anxious to know more about his father whom his mother says died in Denmark some years earlier. But in reality what Mass tells Eddie is a tissue of lies. In the third scenario we jump to Inspector Sejer and the investigation into a double murder six months later.

The interesting thing for me was that this police procedural felt almost pedestrian until the breakthrough came. Sejer fairly quickly discovers the identity of the bodies in the caravan but when he contacts the family they give him edited versions of the facts, leaving out bits they didn't think he needed to know.

The fact that the novel jumps between three narratives and a time frame that spans over six months keeps the reader on their toes. A couple of red herrings are thrown in just to create some false trails.

Easy to see why Karin Fossum is so highly thought of. As you will see from the list below, I generally enjoy her books. ( )
  smik | Feb 23, 2017 |
Karin Fossum has never seemed much interested in crime itself and rarely dwells on the details of the horrible things that have befallen the many victims 12 police procedurals demand. Instead she focuses on the circumstances that enable crime to happen: what is it about the lives of the victims and perpetrators that lead to the horror. As I am equally disinterested in bloody corpses and violence I am a fan of the way Fossum approaches the genre and was not disappointed by her latest offering.

HELL FIRE (or HELLFIRE?) is the 12th novel to feature Norwegian police inspector Konrad Sejer and is particularly melancholic, with three parallel narratives that spiral inevitably towards each other. The novel’s central crime takes place in the summer of 2005 and sees a woman and her young son murdered in an old caravan they’ve borrowed for the night. Initially there is some thought that the murders were committed by someone connected to the farm on which the caravan is parked, several foreign workers are employed there after all, but Sejer is not one to rush to judgement. With little forensic evidence to go on he slowly and methodically interviews everyone who knew Bonnie Hayden – her family, friends, the elderly people she assisted as a home help – and builds up a picture of what was happening in her life at the moment she was murdered.

The novel’s other two threads start about a year before the murder. In one we meet Bonnie and Simon and are provided an intimate and quite detailed picture of their day-to-day life as a single mum struggling to make ends meet financially and a quiet but sweet young boy. The final thread introduces another single mother Thomasine “Mass” Malthe and her adult son Eddie who is smart but not entirely able to cope on his own in the world. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out broadly how these two threads will intersect but that’s to be expected with Fossum. She is far less interested in whodunit than why, and that is what she takes the time to reveal.

As a novel of character studies HELL FIRE is absorbing. All of the central characters are highly believable and it is, at least at the outset, almost impossible to imagine that any of them will be involved in murder. Fossum’s strength though is in ensuring that by the end the reader will believe the resolution and understand why seemingly ‘normal’ human beings have behaved in a way so at odds with expectations. Along the way the book offers plenty of opportunity for us to get to know the core characters – so much so that we become invested in wishing for a different ending for everyone. There’s one twist that is both joyful and heartbreaking at the same time and I did find myself thinking uncharitable thoughts about Fossum and her meanness to her characters. But of course that’s the point: to show us the cruel tricks of fate and ponder how seemingly tiny decisions can have everlasting consequences.

Karin Fossum is one of few writers of long-running series whose work I have found consistently above average and HELL FIRE is no exception. It is almost poetic in its writing style, so kudos must also go to translator Kari Dickson, offers an emotionally wrenching storyline and is ultimately satisfying, though terribly sad. Much like the real world. I don’t think I can recommend Fossum highly enough and if you are an audio book fan you could do much worse than let David Rintoul tell you this particular story. It’s a treat.
  bsquaredinoz | Oct 12, 2016 |
3.5 Had a hard time deciding what to rate this one because I did admire what the author did here. Somewhat of a departure in format from her others. Starts with the finding of a mother and son stabbed to death in a caravan and it is not graphically described for the squeamish, or at least not overly so. So from the beginning we know the who, and shortly will know who the killer is but not why nor how they connect. Then the back stories of these characters are described in alerting chapters. Of course Inspector Sejer and his team are investigating so we learn about the current investigation. Two mothers and two sons relentlessly marching toward their unknown fate.

Missed seeing more of Sejer, but this is a tightly plotted and well written story. Not as dark as many of hers but just dark enough to entice. There are still many secrets to be revealed, but I am not a big fan of knowing who did it at the beginning of the book. Still, well worth reading especially for Fossum fans and those who like solid, well done stories.

ARC from publisher. ( )
  Beamis12 | Jun 21, 2016 |
Showing 4 of 4
Met Veenbrand heeft de Noorse schrijfsters weer een literaire thriller afgeleverd van zeer hoog niveau. In de zeer prettige en verzorgde stijl, die ook alle eerdere boeken van Karin Fossum kenmerkt, wordt een verhaal uitgewerkt dat uiteindelijk eindigt met een fatale afloop. Karin Fossum verstaat de kunst om de omstandigheden die leiden tot een moord tot op het bot te fileren...lees verder >
 
Fossum i superform
Med vårens roman «Helvetesilden» har Karin Fossum skrevet en av sine beste krimfortellinger.
added by annek49 | editDagsavisen, Turid Larsen (Mar 12, 2014)
 
Ny Karin Fossum-bok: Kruttsterkt, menneskelig dokument.
ANMELDELSE: Karin Fossum er i flytsonen. Hun leverer det som må være en av hennes mest inntrengende og bevegende romaner.
 
Usunne mor og sønn-forhold i Karin Fossums nye krim.
Men boka mangler en nødvendig nerve.
added by annek49 | editDagbladet, Cathrine Krøger (Mar 7, 2014)
 

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Mijn allerliefste Finn, dank je wel.
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Kvinner og barn glødet, mennene visste bedre og holdt seg i skyggen, med bremmen for øynene. På jordene oppe ved Skarven, nede i et lite dalsøkk med en klynge av sorte graner, sto en gammel campingvogn... ...
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"A gruesome tableau awaits Inspector Konrad Sejer in the oppressive summer heat: a woman and a young boy lay dead in a pool of blood near a dank camper. The details of the deaths of Bonnie Hayden and her five-year-old son Simon are mysterious. There is no sign of robbery or assault. Who would brutally stab a defenseless woman and her child? Sejer and his fellow investigator Jakob Skarre begin a hunt for the killer that will eventually lead them to a heartbreaking conclusion. In a parallel storyline, masterfully fused, Fossum tells the story of Mass Malthe and her troubled son Eddie as they navigate a relationship that some would call too close. Eddie constantly thinks about his unknown father -- someone his mother would rather forget. When long-held secrets are revealed, it turns out that Mass and Bonnie share more in common than Eddie could have ever guessed"--

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